A short blog about a long list

Every year at around this time, the Man Booker Prize Long List is published. Thirteen new fiction books, each and every one selected to push you to your limits as a reader. All with engaging titles and eye-catching covers that scream out Pick Me! Read Me!

Covers of Man Booker 2016 long list

The long list is for the real die-hards, here’s what I fancy this year:

  • The Many – Wyl Menmuir’s novel is my top choice because it is by a first time author who had just completed a creative writing course when he wrote the book, and it was written from a campervan on the Cornish coast. It is seriously the underdog entry.
  • Hot Milk – Deborah Levy. I cannot wait to read this. It explores the cross over between a daughter’s over-developed sense of responsibility towards her mother, and her need to take risks and live her own life. And I love the cover.
  • Serious Sweet  – A.L. Kennedy’s Serious Sweet sounds like just my kind of book: two characters (with all the first world  flaws we know and love) find one another in London. He’s a ‘bankrupt accountant’, she’s ‘shakily sober’. Together they do their best in a world intent on doing its worst.
  • The Schooldays of Jesus – J.M. Coetzee. A South African-born writer who has already won the Booker prize twice. He’s the heavyweight of the list. This novel (a sequel to The Childhood of Jesus) is about growing up, parenting and life choices. It’s allegorical writing, so don’t read too much into the cover – chances are that’s not Jesus learning to pirouette at a dance school.

As I bash out this blog on the keyboard, I swear I can feel the sinking of the collective heart of all my book club ladies over the years. Long have they loathed my Man Booker choices. When pushed they will give me the ‘too’ list: Too weird, too literary, too boring, too obscure, too depressing. “Nonsense” I retaliate, “Man Up”!

The long list has a short life span. Soon it will be culled from this baker’s dozen, to the six of the short list and finally down to the eventual winner. And at least a couple of these lovelies are sure to make it into a book group near you!

It’s more exciting than rugby. No really, I’m not kidding, it is!

Te Rerenga Kōrero – Tau kē Aotearoa!

Kia ora. To encourage the use of Te Reo Māori Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori – The Māori Language Commission publish weekly Māori phrases that can be used to support or cheer someone on.

Tau kē Aotearoa!
Awesome Aotearoa!

akina te reo rugby

Celebrating Cook Islands Language Week 2016

Kia ariki au i toku tupuranga, ka ora uatu rai toku reo
To embrace my heritage, my language lives on

Sunday marked the start of Cook Islands Maori Language Week (31 July – 6 August). Cook Islanders make up the second largest Pacific Island group in New Zealand (behind Samoan) and there are more Cook Islanders in New Zealand than there are in the Cook Islands. Despite this Cook Islands Māori does not even register in the top spoken languages in New Zealand. Cook Islands Māori has been identified as one of UNESCO’s endangered languages.

There are several different dialects across the Cook Islands and the Pukapukan language has a very strong Samoan influence. Cook Islands Māori is very similar to Te Reo Māori, Hawaiian
Maoli, and the indigenous Tahitian Ma’ohi language (as you can tell from what they’re called).

Cook Islands Language Week 2016

To celebrate Cook Islands Māori Language Week, and highlight the resources we offer in our network, four libraries will be hosting paper tivaevae craft as an add-on to their regular sessions.
These are as follows:

  • Wednesday 3rd August : Aranui Library – Rocket Club – 3.30-4.30pm
  • Thursday 4th August : Linwood post-Storytimes – 10.00am
  • Te Hāpua post-Storytimes – 11:30am
  • Saturday 6th August: Shirley Super Saturday Storytimes – 11:00am

For more information see our events calendar.

If you would like to celebrate Cook Islands Language Week try a few of these phrases….
Kia orana = Hello (literally, “may you live long”)
Aere ra = Goodbye
Meitaki = Thank you
‘Ae = yes
Kare = no
Tane = man
Vaine = woman
Manea = pretty/handsome

Meitaki Ma’ata (Thank you very much) & Happy Cook Islands Language Week!

Find Cook Islands language resources:

Jan-Hai Te Ratana
Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre